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LA Daily News Readers: Don’t Mess With The Comics

“Friendly Fire,” the opinion blog of the LA Daily News, has reader reaction to the paper’s recent 10-strip dump, and they’re not happy.

One of the ten strips dropped by the paper was Tom Batiuk‘s Funky Winkerbean, which the paper cut before the expected, eventual completion of its ongoing and high profile cancer-related storyline.

Community Comments

#1 Ida Friedman
July/18/2007
@ 3:28 pm

Not only have you dropped the usual comics, but as far as I can see, there is no improvement. We still have to refold the former U section and TV guide because they are folded off center. The TV guide is a nuisance because all the pages are loose and not in book form and some of the pages are almost illegible because the presses need more ink. Also, we frequently get pages that are torn of creased. Please, give us back our old paper with improvements.

#2 Garey Mckee
July/18/2007
@ 7:17 pm

I honestly think that most newspaper editors are truly confounded as to the tastes and wants of their readers.

Everyone tries to target their demographic by age, which quite honestly doesn’t seem to be working as far as the comics page is concerned, and reader polls seem inaccurate at best.

#3 Jeff Stanson
July/18/2007
@ 10:25 pm

Garey, this is why newspapers should pick a variety of comic strips, to appeal to all ages and a variety of readers. Most of what I saw first hand before I escaped the newspaper game is that the feature editors who were choosing the strips weren’t interested at all in what readers thought. Those who do conduct reader polls end up choosing a group of comics that appeal to a simple majority of readers, rather than choosing a variety of comics in order to have something for everyone. When you walk into a music store, they don’t just carry the Billboard Top 100, they have music from all genres in order to serve all of their customers. That’s the way it should be with newspapers.

#4 j stevens
July/19/2007
@ 12:39 am

how can other comic strips get a fair chance to be read when anytime a new one breaks in, older readers automatically complain about them? is this what happened to funky winkerbean and other relic strips when they broke in 30 years ago?

#5 Jeff Stanson
July/19/2007
@ 7:23 am

I’ve never complained about a good comic breaking in. I’ve only complained about replacing classic comics with poorly drawn and badly written comics featuring subject matter inappropriate to a family comics page, simply because the comic was “new” and not “old”. There’s only a relatively small amount of real estate available in newspapers for comic strips today, in light of so many more budding cartoonists, but the best stuff will always find its way in. If we open the floodgates by cancelling everything after it reaches a certain age, then we’ve lost the quality control “forced” on the comics page by its physical limitations. At least the Web brought a new medium for cartoonists to get exposure and experience. Would-be cartoonists should earn their space on a comics page, not just expect it of the newspapers.

#6 Garey Mckee
July/19/2007
@ 8:32 pm

To be perfectly honest I read most of the strips I like on the web rather than any newspaper. I’m curious how many people here do the same?

#7 MJ
July/19/2007
@ 10:28 pm

I read the strips online also. This way I can follow a storyline without having to worry about it being dropped by the editors of the printed pages at a crucial point.

#8 Tommy Austin
July/20/2007
@ 10:00 pm

I heard that the LA Daily News is strongly looking at bringing back up to 6 of the comics they got rid of. It seems the paper also owns a bunch of dailies in and around Southern California. The idea was to consolidate comics pages down to a reasonable number (cost savings likely at the root of this) amongst all the dailies including the biggest, the LA Daily News. What the Daily News of Los Angeles didn’t know or chose to ignore was that there might be a backlash to the mass cancellations of strips like Funky Winkerbean (in the middle of a BIG story), For Better or Worse and even Judge Parker. Even Mallard Fillmore may get a reprieve along with a couple others. This is all rumor and rumble, but it looks good that up to 6 strips that were temporarily axed may find their way back into the LA Daily News.

What I cannot understand, is why doesn’t the LA Times take advantage of this (did the News really put in cancellations)? And why would the News keep strips that run in the Times (Marmaduke for one).

#9 Charles Brubaker
July/20/2007
@ 10:29 pm

I do read most of my strips on the web, but I have no choice. I live in Japan, and the English-language newspaper here runs very little comics (just Piranha Club, Bliss, and Calvin and Hobbes reruns).

I’m hoping that this will change when I (hopefully) move to US in 2008.

#10 Garey Mckee
July/21/2007
@ 1:10 pm

Well Charles just think, if England had won the revolutionary war we’d all be speaking English right now. Hey, wait a minute…

#11 The Daily Cartoonist | News and blog about comic strips, editorial cartoons, cartoons
July/23/2007
@ 6:36 am

[…] As noted earlier the L.A. Daily News dropped 10 comic features but under overwhelming comic reader complaints the editor is reinstating several of the features. “For Better or For Worse,” “Funky Winkerbean” and “Mallard Fillmore” were at the top of your list and they will return to the daily LA.COM section within a matter of days. We also are bringing back the horoscope you like and some other comics and features that are very popular. […]

#12 mike3031@peoplepc.com
September/4/2007
@ 8:26 pm

i read all my favorites on the web plus some new ones i have found there, also it saves me money and a trip to the store for anewspaper. why buy a paper when everything is on the web?

#13 Josh McDonald
September/5/2007
@ 10:49 am

The web is certainly more convenient, and I too get most of my comics online. Though I prefer paper, when I can get it.

And I’ve heard, somewhere, that cartoonists don’t get paid (or maybe don’t get paid as much?) for web vs. newspaper publication … anyone know the specifics about that?

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